Writing and Rambling

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Slow motion

Posted by Dave on March 12, 2010

One of the things I noticed as I got closer and closer to the end of Jaben’s Rift, is that I started writing less and less.  Oh, I came up with the typical excuses.  The kids are too noisy, my job’s stressing me out, I’m too tired, I don’t have enough time, blabbidy, blabbidy, blah.  Maybe all those things were true, but that’s not why I wasn’t writing.  The real reason was that, once the book was finished, then it was time to either put up or shut up.  I couldn’t say “I’m writing my first book” any more.  The book would be done, and I would have to face the real world of publishing and find out if my stuff was good enough for someone to take a chance on.

I read on an agent’s blog where her agency receives almost 500 queries a month.  Of that number, they typically reject 90%.  Of the survivors that get to send in their manuscripts, only one or two are actually ready to be pitched to a publisher.  And there’s no guarantee that any publishers are going to want the one or two.  Sounds depressing, doesn’t it?  I worked in Vegas casinos for six years, and let me tell ya, those aren’t good odds.

Fortunately, it’s not a numbers game.  It’s not about beating the odds, it’s about writing a good book.  It’s about getting something into a publisher’s hands that they think might have a chance of making more money than they spend on it. 

Is Jaben’s Rift good?  I think so, but I’m hardly impartial.  I wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t think it was good.  So, my job is to make sure it’s as technically correct, as close to a publishable form as possible, before it crosses an agent’s desk.

So, what if it doesn’t get selected for publication?  Do I give up because I obviously don’t know how to write?  Do I lock myself in a closet for a couple of days while I think about how unfair it all is? 

No, because somewhere along the way I figured out that, while it would be awesome to get published and make a few bucks writing, that wasn’t why I was doing it.  I found out that I enjoy telling the story.  I like creating new worlds for new characters to explore.  The writing became the end, not the means. 

So, maybe I am a writer after all.  Will you ever see my stuff at Barnes & Noble or Waldenbooks?  Who knows?  I hope so.  But the stories will be told whether they’re on the bookstore shelves, or just sitting in my computer. 



Be yourself.  You’re the only one of you there is.  (Unless you count parallel universes.)


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